MOTORISTS REMINDED ABOUT DANGERS OF FLOODS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON14/12/2021 11:29 AM
As communities and roads across the state continue to be impacted by floods, NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) has teamed up with NSW Police and Transport for NSW to remind people looking to travel over the holidays not to drive through floodwater.
Since Storm Season began on 1 October 2021, NSW SES has responded to more than 125 rescues where people had been trapped in their vehicle by floodwater.
Commissioner of NSW SES, Carlene York, said with the prospect of many people looking to travel over the holidays, it was important they do so safely.
“The message is very straightforward – do not drive, walk or ride through floodwater,” Commissioner York said.
“You don’t know what condition the road underneath the water is in and can’t see hidden obstacles and debris under the surface.
“While we are here today reminding people of how dangerous this is, I also want to thank those who do the right thing and turn around to find another way. By doing this you are saving our volunteers from being put into harm’s way,” Commissioner York said.
Tara McCarthy, Deputy Secretary Safety, Environment and Regulation at Transport for NSW, said road safety is everyone’s responsibility.
“It can take just 15 centimetres of water to make a small car float,” Ms McCarthy said.
“Conditions in floodwaters can also change quickly and roads or crossings that may have appeared safe a short time ago can quickly become dangerous.
“During severe weather and floods, avoid all unnecessary travel where possible. If you do need to be on the roads, follow the advice of authorities and adjust your route to avoid driving into danger,” she said.
NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Acting Superintendent, Steve Atherton, said it’s just not worth the risk.
“It does not matter how well you think you know the roads, or how big your car is, driving through floodwater is dangerous.
“The holidays should be a happy time for all, so please, if you come across floodwater, stop, turn around and find another way,” he said.
Commissioner York highlighted that floods in western NSW are not like those that happen along the coast.
“Flooding in these communities can last weeks and even months.
“Before hitting the roads these holidays, please check to see what areas are impacted and what roads may be cut off,” Commissioner York said.
For the latest up-to-date traffic information, please visit Live Traffic NSW
Images: NSW SES Members conducting a Flood Rescue scenario at Penrith Whitewater Stadium